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Ron Grant, one of the "Chosen" i.e. beautiful people, a successful playwright, is down in Jamaica taking up skin-diving in an attempt to search for his "Manhood." That this is quite a problem for a man of thirty-six will be evident at the beginning When he looks down at the "head of his peepee." Some 685 pages later he solves it, and gets the idea for a new play, when he comes up with a philosophy that to prove his masculinity he needn't take "refuge in bravery" or all those things (war, shark-shooting, hunting) which was certainly part of the mystique of the man he refers to here as "old Hemingway." But old Hemingway was a writer, and Jones, who has been almost unanimously faulted for his sloppy writing, bad grammar, and fatiguing vulgarisms, hasn't learned a thing. This book is closest to Some Came Running, and it relies on the skin games (sex and diving) other people play for whatever interest it has. The story itself revolves around Grant who has had a fourteen year affair with a castrating older woman (a reminiscently real foster-mother, muse, shrike, patroness) and now his transfer to Lucky Videndi, a high-class hooker--"a reserved sexuality oozed from her like her very own invisible honey." Well, it's not too reserved, and while Ron marries her, he suspects that she has spent a night with a local diver, Jim Grointon (uh huh) while she faults him for his relationship with her predecessor, who is also down there, etc. etc. A lot of time here is spent in the deep waters where Ron is also trying to prove himself but for the most part the arena is the bed, where, for one thing, Ron's manhood is never in question.... Since this book is the first of three on what is now the most legendary contract in the industry, the market too is subsidized. Q-ueue up.
Pub Date: April 10th, 1967
ISBN: 1453218475
Page count: 752pp
Publisher: Dell
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1967


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